"The Texas Rangers acquired first baseman Prince Fielder and cash considerations from the Detroit Tigers for second baseman Ian Kinsler, the Rangers confirmed Wednesday night." That is the first paragraph written on November 21st, 2013 by the late, great Richard Durrett. The Rangers were trading away a 31-year old 2B, who had numerous spots of flare & much love from the fan base in Texas, for a guy who hit 285 home runs with both the Milwaukee Brewers & Detroit Tigers, 1B Prince Fielder. The Rangers lacked power, with the departure of Josh Hamilton the previous year & Nelson Cruz that exact year, they needed some pop to hit behind Adrian Beltre. Jon Daniels did not expect to lose the power hitter just 42 games into the 2014 season.
The Rangers 2014 season was in doubt, with losing players such as Derek Holland, Shin-Soo Choo, Mitch Moreland & of course, Prince Fielder, but their future looked bright. Everybody looked healthy, especially Fielder, so maybe this could be a turn around season. Texas was looking for over 40 home runs each season from Prince. In 2014, they managed to get 3 HRs out of him. So far through 13 games in 2015, he has hit none. The question is: Is he ever gonna be the power hitting 1B he once was? I have the answer for you. The answer is no. Prince will hit about 20 per season, that's his highest out of the rest of his career per season. Fielder is gonna become a good hitter now, not a long-ball hitter like he used to be.
The main thing Fielder wanted to do this season was stay healthy, but he also wanted to "beat the shift", which simply meant for him to hit the ball the other way where the defense wasn't. One of the things I watched for in his first at bat of the season to see what he did different. The pitch gets lined to the A's third baseman, who is playing in the shortstop's position. So, in essence, he was hitting differently. He didn't try to pull the ball over the right field wall or hit it hard through a hole to the right side. Fielder is carrying a .385 AVG with a .439 OBP with 6 RBIs. He is just a hitter now & Rangers fans need to come to the realization of that. The man we have now is going to be an all around hitter who gets on base. If we want power, we should've kept Cruz. Power will not be a thing the Rangers value this season. You will see HRs out of players like Adrian Beltre, Shin-Soo Choo, Jake Smolinski, Carlos Peguero, & a couple other random Rangers. All in all, Texas will have a roller coaster season, but Prince Fielder is the Rangers X-factor for the season & I am pleased to see him become the player he his.